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In honor of World Environment Day, virtual volunteering for environmental research

  • Posted on June 5, 2023
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Virtual volunteering with Zooniverse

Each year, people around the globe celebrate World Environment Day to demonstrate their support for environmental protection. Avanade employees Daniel Brown and Elizabeth Nguyen are both enthusiastic about environmental causes, and through Avanade, they’ve been able to volunteer to make positive changes for environmental sustainability.

Invitation to act for environmental sustainability.

Fresh out of college and with a background in art production, content design, and UX, Daniel joined Avanade as a visual designer in August 2022. At around the same time, Elizabeth decided to switch careers from accounting to data and joined Avanade as an analyst in the Analytics Talent Community. They both quickly became part of Avanade’s volunteer community.

Daniel and Elizabeth were introduced to volunteering early on through Avanade’s Ignition program. Avanade’s encouraging volunteering policy quickly led them to volunteer regularly, in-person and remotely. Daniel says, “Volunteering is a moment to step away from evaluating my performance, and instead simply do my best for a good cause – it's refreshing and brings immediate gratification.” While Elizabeth finds it a great way to give back: “I enjoy volunteering outside of my community, and I also make it a habit to volunteer when I am overseas. Growing up, I have personally benefited from others helping me and my family in various ways.”

What is it like to volunteer on Zooniverse?

Elizabeth and Daniel discovered Zooniverse when they were looking for weekly volunteering opportunities. Zooniverse is a citizen science web portal and home to some of the internet's largest, most popular and most successful citizen science projects. They didn't have to look any further. With dozens of projects to choose from, volunteers are almost certain to find something of interest.

At times, it can be difficult to find new ways to volunteer, different organizations to help, and sometimes to find the time and energy to travel to these opportunities. Zooniverse is easy to navigate, provides so much exposure, and is 100% virtual and available to all ages!” says Elizabeth.

How does Zooniverse link to Earth Day and environmental sustainability?

“The projects we contribute to will directly assist research to help protect and preserve plant and wildlife,” says Daniel. “That said, many of Zooniverse's projects are to the benefit of nature, so continuing to volunteer with it is a way to impact environmental sustainability on an ongoing basis.”

For Elizabeth, it’s a different way to support environmental causes while highlighting the scientific side of the effort. “Most individuals will volunteer by improving their routines at home to be more environmentally friendly, or support projects within their community. Zooniverse allows participants to be part of larger projects. And to learn about how their efforts back at home are impacting animals, habitats, ecosystems, and the entire planet on a larger scale!”

What is the change you think you have achieved?

Back in April, the pair organized Zooniverse sessions for North America colleagues for Earth Day.

“We wanted to be part of something bigger,” Daniel and Elizabeth agree. “We organized sessions for our colleagues globally, moderating sessions and sharing what we have learned. We also created a playbook for Avanade volunteers to organize similar sessions with their colleagues or their friends and family. We are happy to help researchers understand our world—and to support our colleagues on their journey to make a genuine human impact.”

Ceyhun Gocenoglu

Thank you, Daniel and Elizabeth, for sharing your story 

June 5, 2023

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